“Alternate Ending” by E.V. Jacob

by E.V. Jacob on October 31, 2013

This story is by me! Yay!


Olivia started into the mirror, searching for the stitched-up gash across her temple. It had been there the day before.  Now, though, it was like it had never existed.

“We’re going to be late!” her mother called.

Olivia stared for a moment longer at the spot where the wound should be before turning away.

Owen was putting his shoes on when she got to the garage.

“Are you OK now?” he asked.

“Yeah, why?” she muttered.

“Yesterday you were…weird,” her little brother said. “After you locked yourself in your room, Mom said you were probably on your period.”

“I’m not.” She had locked herself in her room, but that had been because everyone else had been acting crazy. Her mother had been a distracted, over-emotional mess, her father had been argumentative and withdrawn, and Owen…well, she hadn’t actually seen him. Maybe he’d been hiding—he sometimes did.

Today, everyone was fine. Olivia tried to think of what she might have done that was strange, but nothing came to mind.

“What about Mom and Dad? Did you notice anything wrong with them?”

Owen looked confused. “No…just you.”

“Guys, come on!”

Olivia climbed into the car, frowning.  This confusion had been going on for days; ever since the horrible nightmares started.  Thinking about them made her head hurt—a sharp pain where the scar was supposed to be.

All through school (where she discovered she’s forgotten three assignments and was blindsided by a quiz), Olivia was off.  She couldn’t even focus at lunch—too distracted by her thoughts.



“Are you coming on Saturday?”


Hannah sighed. “To my party, Liv. My Halloween party?”

“Oh! Yeah.”

Hannah rolled her eyes, but laughed.  “Promising. You alright?”

“Yeah, just tired…”

“Well, my party will wake you up,” Hannah laughed.

Olivia forced a smile.  She hoped something would.

*             *             *

“Liv…you’re here…”

Olivia stared at Hannah, perplexed.

“Yeah…um…did you not expect me?” Olivia asked.


Olivia laughed. “Really? Because you invited me at lunch on Thursday.”

Hannah looked completely bewildered. “At…lunch? Liv…are you OK?”

“I’m fine. Why does everyone keep asking me that?”

“I just…think I should text your mom. Does she know you’re here?”

Olivia was floored. “Seriously?”

Hannah didn’t respond. Her eyes lingered on Olivia’s temple.  She came out onto the porch and sat with Olivia, who was silent while Hannah dialed.

Olivia wanted to know what this was all about, but Hannah was acting so weird that she didn’t know how to ask.

“OK, your mom’s coming.”


Hannah looked confused. “Because…Liv, I didn’t see you at school this week.”

Olivia stared at her.


Hannah looked away, and Olivia scrambled to think of where to even begin. She was so confused.

“We were having lunch, and you told me about the party—“

Hannah shook her head, and Olivia realized there were tears in Hannah’s eyes.  She looked scared.

“Liv, I didn’t see you at lunch. I haven’t seen you at all since…”

Olivia raised her eyebrows. “Since what?”

Hannah’s hands were over her face. Her voice was muffled when she answered.

“Since Owen’s funeral.”

*             *             *

“Liv! Wake up! It’s Halloween, time for the party!”

Olivia jerked awake. It was late-afternoon, and she was horizontal on her bed, still in her school clothes.  She’d had a nightmare, but she forgot it as Owen bounced around in his zombie costume.

“You have to get your costume on!”

“Yeah, yeah…I’m up…”

She dressed quickly, throwing on the skeleton costume she’d picked up last-minute. She’d been too…off to come up with a better idea.

A snippet of her dream resurfaced.  Something about a Hannah…Owen being dead…Olivia shook off the sick feeling that the memory brought with it—she had never had a dream feel so real before.

They piled into her mother’s car and headed off to her Aunt Sarah’s annual Halloween party. Olivia was quiet for the whole drive, unable to shake her unease over the dream. The emotions were so powerful, the memory of Hannah’s face so real.

Owen filled the silence with chatter and questions, asking their parents about the origins of Halloween and costumes.

Olivia closed her eyes and tried to tune him out.  Suddenly, it was working too well—Owen was completely silent.

She glanced over to see what had interrupted him…but he wasn’t there.

Her head split with pain. Olivia sat bolt upright, but before she could panic …there he was.

“Liv…you OK?” he asked, noticing her expression.

“I—yeah,” she blinked.

There was a dull, lingering pain in her head, but when she touched her temple, it was unmarred.

*             *             *

Hannah was at the party—she always was; their families were close. She asked why Olivia hadn’t come to her party on Saturday, and Olivia didn’t know how to answer.

A little later, Olivia’s head started to hurt again. She realized she hadn’t seen Owen in a while, and began searching for him.  At first, she was just wondering where he was, but after almost half an hour of checking every child there, she was starting to panic.

“Mom! Have you seen Owen?”

Her mother’s conversation came to an abrupt halt as everyone stared at her. A few onlookers whispered as her mother apologized to the group, then pulled Olivia aside.

“Livy, I don’t know what’s going on with you, but—”

“I can’t find Owen, Mom! That’s what’s going on!” the panic was mixing with a rage.

“Olivia, stop that this instant!”

She was about to protest, but her mother was crying.

“Owen is dead, Olivia!  He’s dead.  You have to stop…” she shook her head, the sobs interrupting her speech.

Olivia squeezed her eyes shut, and she opened them again, her mother was watching her with curious, quiet concern.  Owen was standing off to the side, eating a candy apple, looking quizzically at his sister.

Olivia sank to the ground, rubbing the spot where the scar should be, but wasn’t.


To be continued…

  • christiney

    Woah… trippy ._.

    • http://www.ravenhartpress.com/ Eve Jacob

      Yeah…it’s confusing alright XD

  • T.C. McVay

    This was a very interesting story. I would definitely like to read what happens next.

    • http://www.ravenhartpress.com/ Eve Jacob

      It kinda got away from me because I ended up going for a MUCH bigger scope than 1000 words permits.

      Luckily, I’m working on a revised (and complete) version now!! :D

      Thanks for reading!! <3

  • Lucia

    Oh my– I love it! I’d like to read that complete version you mentioned. It’s really good.

    • http://www.ravenhartpress.com/ Eve Jacob

      Thank you! I haven’t had much of a chance to work on it, but I really need to :D

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